Pirates place Derrek Lee on the disabled list with a fractured left wrist

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Boy, if this isn’t symbolic of the way the Pirates have collapsed in the standings recently, I’m not sure what is.

The Pirates just announced that Derrek Lee has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a bone fracture in his left wrist. Lee has missed six out of the last eight games due to lingering soreness in his left hand as a result of being hit by a pitch from Carlos Marmol back on August 3.

Needless to say, the acquisition of Lee hasn’t worked out the way the Pirates hoped it would. The 35-year-old first baseman has been limited to just 19 plate appearances since being acquired from the Orioles on July 30, batting .278 with two homers, a triple and three RBI.

Of course, the Pirates are all but out of things in the National League Central now, so they shouldn’t really waste at-bats on someone who has no future with the team. This probably won’t happen, but why not give Pedro Alvarez a look at first base sometime in September? That’s where he’ll likely end up eventually.

UPDATE: According to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Lee is expected to be sidelined for 2-4 weeks.

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.